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Article Comments
Comments for N-Series Hydraulic Fluid
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Stump Rancher wrote on Thursday, August 28, 2003 (PDT):
  • After reading the article I must commend the author for his research. I have only practical advice and experience working with and owning 9N and 8N's for the last 35 years (my father is 77 years young and is still using the 8N he purchased in 1965, the tractor I learned to drive on and helped overhaul when I was the ripe old age of 15.) Like the article states, the 8N has helically cut gears that run quietly and will work with the "compromise" transmission/hydraulic oil/fluids that are sold by the local tractor dealers nowadays. The 9N that I have been using for the last 5 years around my small acreage also worked fine with the lighter "compromise" fluids, but the straight cut gears in the transmission were noisy as heck. After checking with a few mechanics, they suggested the GL-1 in a 90 or 140 weight to quiet the transmission. I drained out the 90 wt GL-5, bought a 5 gallon pail of the 140 weight GL-1 and poured it in, and have had no troubles with the hydraulics and it sure is a lot quieter. Now, I live in Western Oregon, where the winters are fairly mild, and do not use the tractor much in the winter anyway. If I were using it regularly in the winter, I would recommend the GL-1 90 weight. During the summer, when the temperatures can get up to the high 90's and low 100's sometimes, the 140 weight provides a sound deadening cushion to the old straight cut gears, but runs thin enought to work OK in the hydraulics.
    Irv LaLonde wrote on Sunday, September 07, 2003 (PDT):
  • Neat article - meets your usual high standard. However does this mean you have abandoned your IH300 Utility for a Ford? Please say it isn't so!!!!! lol Irv
    Ray,IN wrote on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 (PST):
  • Well researched and written article, with one omission I noted. There is a reason to use only straight mineral oil. A former Harry Ferugson mechanic told me these old tractors use brass and bronze bushings in some places. Some of the additives used today will react with those bushings, pitting and corroding them over time.
    Rex - North Forty Farms wrote on Friday, February 06, 2004 (PST):
  • For the Ford M4864 fluid for the 8N, what about using an industrial gear oil ISO 100. Industrial gear oils have a low treat rate of EP additives roughly equal to a GL3?
    don wrote on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 (PST):
  • It's good to see someone had their thinking cap on because that is exactly how modern day tractors operate today and have expanded to every moving part of the drive train excluding the engine. Well done!
    James wrote on Thursday, May 20, 2004 (PDT):
  • Why not use 75W90 and get great gear protection and cold weather operation. Agreed it does cost significantly more
    ERIC wrote on Friday, March 11, 2005 (PST):
  • THIS ARTICLE WAS VERY INFORMATIVE AND VERY WELL WRITTEN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP AND FOR SOME WONDERFUL READING....
    Farmer Dan wrote on Saturday, May 07, 2005 (PDT):
  • Ok I'm still following the conversation here but what is the final answer? Is Gl1-90 gearlube ok?
    Kent Stannard wrote on Friday, July 29, 2005 (PDT):
  • GREAT ARTICLE ! could you tell me if the same holds true for the SOS transmission? FORD/NH is telling me that i should use their 134d product for all applications. it's kinda pricy and a lot further drive just for oil and if something at TSC would work just as well, i would like to save but not at the expense of my SOS. Thanks, Kent
    ROBERT BOWEN wrote on Thursday, September 08, 2005 (PDT):
  • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS ARTICLE. IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO FINDING THIS WEB SITE AND ARTICLE WAS HARD, BUT IT WAS WORTH THE SEARCHING. IT IS VERY HARD TO FIND 8N INFO, ESPECILLY THE CONVERSION OF OLD TECHNOLOGY TO WAS IS AVAILABLE IN STORES TODAY.
    Ed Zetler wrote on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 (PDT):
  • When I got my tractor (1947 2N) 7 years ago, I went to NAPA and Got "Universal Tractor Fluid" from them. I didn't know when it had been replaced.I was back there yesterday and they now have " Premium HD tractor hydraulic and transmision fluid- Meets or exceeds -----and Ford M2C134 ABCD " Would this be a good substitute? I appeciate? the comment "clean the sump" Ugg! Thanks for a great article Ed Z
    JOHN MEADE wrote on Monday, November 14, 2005 (PST):
  • THIS ARTICLE IS SO INFORMATIVE AND EDUCATED ME TO LIMITS THAT YOU HAVE NO IDEA, THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    Gifford F. Knapp wrote on Monday, January 30, 2006 (PST):
  • Thanks for the info. Glad to find where Llamas is now and posting. Gifford
    gahorN wrote on Sunday, February 26, 2006 (PST):
  • I disagree that for an "N"-Ford, that the combination hyd/trans fluid is the best choice. The hydraulic purpose of the combination fluid is it's main selling point. The problem is; The N-Ford's hydraulics are very basic indeed. The MAIN purpose of the stuff... is as a GEAR OIL for the transmission. That's the major WEAR concern of the N-Ford. ANY oil will work as a basic hydraulic fluid...and there's no more BASIC hydraulic system than that of an N-Ford. I strongly recommend that the lubricant most closely like the orginal design calls for should be used...and that is a GEAR OIL. 80W90 is an excellent choice as it meets both temperature specifications AND it will properly lubircate those hard-to-replace, expensive gears. The hydraulics will also work exactly as designed.
    Steevo wrote on Friday, April 07, 2006 (PDT):
  • New Holland 134D is the current fluid specified for use in all older tractors, in everything but the crankcase. The reason is the better water suspention, less pump cavitation, better cold flow and high shear strength of the fluid film. The days of a thicker oil to provide protection were gone when synthetic polymers became available. 134D specs are available from any New Holland dealer. But off the top of my head 10W30, non-zinc additive package to prevent Phosphoric acid formation, shear strength in excess of 10,000PSI breakdown. The unfortunate thing is there is no test for fluid film strength specified by the API.
    Brian wrote on Sunday, May 28, 2006 (PDT):
  • In English, doc? What should I put in my 1946 2N?
    John P. wrote on Thursday, September 07, 2006 (PDT):
  • Good article. I would like to point out that you will find 2 different Mystik Trans-Hydraulic Fluids at TSC. From what I can determine, the one marked Mystik JT-5 Universal Trans-Hydraulic Fluid has sulphur. The one marked Mystik Universal Trans-Hydraulic Fluid does not. As such I bought the JT-5 product.
    b.w.bent wrote on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 (PDT):
  • well researched,well written. good to see in-depth info on "N"series.
    George Adamache wrote on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 (PDT):
  • just what I was looking for
    Del T wrote on Sunday, February 25, 2007 (PST):
  • I had GL-1 in my 9N and replaced it with Ford Labeled M2C134D. The hydraulics run more noisy but worse, the seals started leaking in several areas. After a couple of years topping it off every once in a while, I drained it and put in Phillips66 GL-1 Mineral Oil. It runs quieter and the leaking is greatly reduced. My advice, use GL-1 regardless. It takes a little more time to find Google up GL-1 . Why save 10 when it would introduce problems. I think Ford went to the thinner fluid because seals and o-rings are better these days. But knowing GL1 worked for the last 60 years in my 9n, I should have stayed with that. It s GL1 for me forever.
    Bill D. wrote on Monday, March 05, 2007 (PST):
  • I am still as confussed about the use of oils verses fluids All I know is that no matter what I put in it gets cloudy like Water and Oil mixed up together. So whats up with that. This tractor has been on this property since the day it was purchesed and I am going crazy trying to keep the hydr. running Help
    Rol wrote on Friday, March 23, 2007 (PDT):
  • After reading the article looking for information to service my new 1949 Ford 8N I went to several dealers and finally ended up at NAPA. They have a 5 gallon pail of VV-720 premium tractor oil that lists the Ford M2C134D spec on the can along with many other brands and specs of tractor oil. Is this a proper lubricant to use The label is very unclear if the oil meets the specs or if it intended to be substituted for the Ford spec oil. I very much appreciate all the information and advice you all offer on this forum.
    Butch Wood wrote on Sunday, April 22, 2007 (PDT):
  • Was looking for transmition/hydraulic oil recomendation for my 9n and didnot want to go search for my manual so looked for a sight with the information and found yours. the artical was very informative, better then my manual. Thank you.
    Jack wrote on Sunday, April 22, 2007 (PDT):
  • Why is nothing ever simple I am more confused now then before. Couldn t you just recommend a brand and type that I can use in my 1946 9N/2N
    Ron wrote on Monday, May 14, 2007 (PDT):
  • More confused than before,still don t know what to put in my 9N for fluids.
    julian carter wrote on Sunday, December 09, 2007 (PST):
  • ihave some moisture that has contaminated the transmision fluid in my 8n tractor.what do i use to flush the old fluid out.
    julian carter wrote on Sunday, December 09, 2007 (PST):
  • ihave some moisture that has contaminated the transmision fluid in my 8n tractor.what do i use to flush the old fluid out.
    Frank Dauro wrote on Saturday, December 22, 2007 (PST):
  • I put a external pump on my TO-30.New pump would not work with GL-1.I got some AG-46 that is formulated to protect Bronze and Brass. Very clean highly refined and so far no leaks and no foam...
    Dwight Barnes wrote on Sunday, July 27, 2008 (PDT):
  • Do you know how much hydraulic fluid should I put in my Ford 9N tractor? Have been trying to find out with no luck I am hoping someone can help...
    Barry Brandow wrote on Saturday, October 04, 2008 (PDT):
  • In reference to water in the transmission / hydraulic / differential lube, I found that water can run down the draft control plunger (inside the draft control spring) and enter the reservoir. There is a rudimentary seal, the felt washer, but when the plunger and seat are worn I'm sure the washer will be worn too. I cover the draft control spring area with a tarp when the tractor is exposed to weather. If accidentally exposed, very careful loosening of the drain plug before starting may allow water to escape from the bottom of the reservoir without loosing any oil. Once the pump is started, the water becomes homoginized into the oil and will take months to settle back out, if ever.
    jeff yates wrote on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 (PST):
  • Does the fluid go in to the passenger side of the seat or on top of the gear box or both? Does anyone have a picture of the proper place to input the fluid? As you can see, I am a novice with tractors - I have her running well, but my 8N will not lift the hitch arms...I'm hoping I'm just low on fluid and haven't got a ruined pump. Thanks.
    Monte wrote on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 (PST):
  • I recently bought 5 gallons of TDH Universal Hydraulic & Transmission Oil from Rural King called Xtreme. The salesman said it would work for an 8N Ford. The label said it will work with Ford tractors using M2C134 B,C. How is this different from M2C134 D? Is there any difference? Will it work in my 8N? After reading some of the comments, I'm not sure what to use. While I'm asking questions, what is the recommended type of engine oil? I have the original owner's manual, but since I began reading online, I bet there is something better out there today. Thanks for the help, Monte
    mike porter wrote on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 (PDT):
  • carquest parts stores sell ep-90 in various container sizes up to 5 gallon cans. that is the designation for ford-ferguson 9n-2n, 8n and ferguson to20-to30 tractors. works the best. i worked at a new holland store for 2 years, and several guys were sold hy-trans to replace the trans. oil, and they came back complaining that when the tractor warmed up, the hyds. quit working. tsc sells the ep90, and i found out carquest also sells ep90, and it looks more like hyd. oil the fords and fergusons had in them. it's called carquest bravo oil, ep90gl4, part# 990-05.
    Fossil wrote on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 (PDT):
  • May 12/09 If you don't work the tractor too hard and the diff temperature stays below 220 degrees you can use any gear lube.If you are going to be working the tractor hard,then use a GL4 marine gear lube which is more like an engine oil with less phosphorous and will not attack the yellow metals. I use Amsoil AGM 75/80-90.
    John Caughlin wrote on Saturday, October 24, 2009 (PDT):
  • What about fluid requirements for the Ferguson TO-20 tractors? I used a universal type several years ago and have suddenly noticed slow hydraulic lift response,any ideas? In travel position the tractor has always had a knock.Any help would be great!JPC
    Dan wrote on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 (PST):
  • I have a 1963 ford 2000....I dont know what weight of hydraulic / transmission fluid to use or where to add it .
    RANDY STEWART wrote on Tuesday, March 09, 2010 (PST):
  • MY QUESTION IS WHAT KIND OF FLUIDS SHOULD I USE IN A 1948 8N AND WHERE TO PUT IN? ALSO I HAVE KNOW BRAKES ON TRACTOR HOW BIG A JOB IS IT TO PUT BRAKES ON,IS THERE A BRAKE CYLINDER TO CHECK FLUIDS. THANKS FOR ANY HELP
    ike gaerte what asout a3000 wrote on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 (PST):
  • what about a 3000 ford tractor hiderolic
    Richard Potter wrote on Sunday, June 05, 2011 (PDT):
  • Still confused on hydraulic/trans oil for my 1950 Ford 8N. What type and brand would you use? Thanks
    So after all the experimentation and discussion wrote on Saturday, June 25, 2011 (PDT):
  • What Transmission / hydraulic oil should be and has been successful as per all the suggestions and trials above... My 1948 ford 8n is running its original oil and don't want to mess with a machine that's not leaking. Well its not airtight but its holding and not making a lot of noise and works. So some time tested oils would be appreciated please.
    mike porter wrote on Sunday, December 25, 2011 (PST):
  • the author did a fair job on all facts but 1-ep designation is still available with the right store! i buy my ep90 from carquest, it's the same as the oruginal for good operating of the hydraulics in a n-series ford or to and te 20-30 and te 85 fergusons.the mineral base oils are not as good as ep-90, and goo up parts internally over time. also doesn't work well once condensation is present! just telling you my own observations, and experiences with ford n-series and ferguson tractors.
    chad miller wrote on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (PDT):
  • My ford 9n hydraulics have stopped working. The bucket will not raise from the ground. The fluid is white and milky. Besides changing the fluid, does anyone have a suggestion that may fix the problem? Also, is the ford mineral oil the best option for fluid? Thanks
    Curt wrote on Friday, March 30, 2012 (PDT):
  • Great article. I have a 1953 Ford NAA tractor and have struggled finding and understanding which trans/hydro fluid to use. This helps as I'm going to use the combo trans/hyrdo fluid meeting the M134 spec as you state in the article.
    randy graven wrote on Friday, May 30, 2014 (PDT):
  • Almost all of the modern tractors even up in the 200+ HP range use the universal type fluid in transmission,rear end, and hydraulic system. When you check the hydraulic fluid you are checking all three. New Holland's Ambra 134, Massey's 1127, etc are all more than adequate for gear lubrication. The only thing is if the hydraulic pump in an N-series is worn seriously the 80-90 or even 140 may make the lift work faster and hold the implements up better-we've done this with our older Masseys until had tim to split them and go thru the hydraulic system
    Pat wrote on Friday, October 17, 2014 (PDT):
  • what?
    Curtis larson wrote on Thursday, December 25, 2014 (PST):
  • In 1939 when the 9n was interduced, 8N thus.1948 8N oils and hydraulic systems were not as developed as today. The real reason for the heavy oil in the first tractors needed the thick oil to control the three point from drifting down Back to 9N believe it or not most of the development was done in England. This is why a tool kit came with the early tractors. Have you ever heard of an American company with nut and bolts 19/32 17/32 21/32nds
    james lightner wrote on Friday, September 09, 2016 (PDT):
  • Napa has a GL-1 80W90 part number NHF 65201
    Robert McLaughlin wrote on Sunday, May 14, 2017 (PDT):
  • Your article makes it look like the 9N-2N-8N has a different hydraulic pump and housing's - I have 6 different 2N-9N-8N's in my yard. Do they not take the same fluids? The pumps are interchangeable. All have one open housing.
    Robert McLaughlin wrote on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 (PDT):
  • I do not understand how the writer states that. The steering gear get's any lube from the transmission fluids? As the steering gear box in all the N tractors are a separate housing. Which need to be filled separately. Also the 8N-9N-2N all fill the transmission, hydraulic and the rear differential with the same lubricant. This all changed with the NAA to separate chambers for lube.
    Ronny Lundin wrote on Saturday, September 09, 2017 (PDT):
  • I agree with your article with one exception, you mention that the oil in the rear end lubes the rear axle barrings, that is true on 9N 8N, and early 8N, but later models of the 8N I think 51 and 52 have a inner seal on the axle shaft preventing oil from reaching the axle barring, therefore making it necessary to pack the barring just like the front wheel barrings with grease, this is important knowledge as if you don't you will burn the rear axle barrings. The 9N and 2N and also the 8N's without the inner seal can be converted using the Sure Seal, that sells for around 20 dollars online, but after that seal is installed it necessitates the packing of rear barrings with grease.
    Ray wrote on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 (PDT):
  • What oil and where do you feel for the rear end and PTO and three point hitch arms I see a dipstick and there’s no oil in it thank you
    Jeff wrote on Sunday, July 19, 2020 (PDT):
  • Why they say 80 below freezing 90 above.....are ya suppose to switch wts as the temp changes...,guess I'll just wait on brand for all temps.....too many cheifs not enuff braves syndrome
    JOHN BECKER wrote on Monday, November 30, 2020 (PST):
  • I an NAA Ford that has been completely rebuilt. I recently acquire a M 40 Massey I had oil filter issues to start with it was easy to get it running. I checked the Fliud levels I found the tranmission and rear end way over filled and I am not shure what its is but it smells bad and it is brown. I am going to flush if I can.
    Tom ritz wrote on Sunday, July 04, 2021 (PDT):
  • 1965 case 530 diesel engine what kindsa hydralic fluid
    Gregory Lynn Zebosky wrote on Thursday, April 07, 2022 (PDT):
  • I have I guess a pre 1951 N8 ford Tractor and I say Pre because I was told that a front distributor is Pre 1951 and my question is I suppose is should I run diesel fluid through the transmission and rear-end to clean it before I change the fluid

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